DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s unemployment rate is holding steady at 8.5 percent.

The 8.5 percent jobless rate for July is down from 8.8 percent in July 2010, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Friday by the state labor department. The national unemployment rate for the month was 9.1 percent.

The largest private sector job gains in the last year were in the leisure and hospitality category. The largest declines were in construction.

The state labor department says the labor force has fallen by about 8,500 people since July 2010 to around 2.67 million. About 2.4 million people have jobs, which is roughly even with July 2010.

The department says over the year, the average hourly earnings for employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from $23.70 to $23.77.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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